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Former Wild player Konopka tweets that Yeo should be fired

Former Minnesota Wild forward Zenon Konopka went on Twitter Tuesday night  after the slumping team lost to Dallas and wrote that coach Mike Yeo needs to be replaced.

In the first of two tweets on his verified account, the veteran center said:

Then, a few minutes later, Konopka added:

Konopka played in 73 games for the Wild over parts of two seasons before being placed on waivers and claimed by Buffalo in January 2014, the last of the five teams for which he played in his six-year NHL career. He had 30 points and 1,082 penalty minutes.

Known more for physical play than hockey skills, Konopka had one goal, one assist and 172 minutes in penalties for the Wild. He ended his career with a 20-game suspension for violating the league's drug program after taking an over-the-counter supplement.

In his postgame blog, Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo wrote: "All I can tell you is that Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that's why he ended up on waivers two Januarys ago right before it erupted in the second half. So, there's a lot of history there."

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said over the weekend that Yeo's job is safe.

The rabbit in the photo, by the way, is Konopka's pet Hoppy.

As you'd expect, Konopka's tweet received lots of overnight reaction, pro and con.

 

Kobe to Gophers' Banham: 'Congrats on the 60'

Some fun anecdotes emerged from the University of Minnesota campus Tuesday. Rachel Banham, two days removed from an NCAA-record-tying 60-point game against Northwestern, was taping an interview with play-by-play man Mike Grimm when he asked if she felt a bit like Kobe Bryant.

That was fitting, because about that time Bryant took to social media to congratulate Banham.

Our Rachel Blount picks it up from there:

Someone from the Gophers who monitors social media was with her at the interview, spotted the tweet at that moment and said to Banham: Look at this. Banham said she "freaked out,'' could barely finish the interview and then went "running around all over Bierman showing everybody.'' She also forwarded the tweet to "everybody in my phone book.''

Banham then thanked the NBA great, who was kind enough to send a reply back.

"I was literally shaking. I thought I was going to start crying, I was so happy," Banham said. "I didn’t even know what to say. I was freaking out. I couldn’t even tweet back right away, because I didn’t want to say anything dumb and be embarrassing. So I left myself calm down. I was really happy.''

Added coach Marlene Stollings: "She came running in the office. We were in a staff meeting, figuring out how to beat Nebraska, and I get this knock on the door that was pretty anxious, and it was Rachel. We said 'Come in,' and she was like, 'Coach! Coach! I just got a tweet from Kobe, and it changed my life! This is the best day of my life!' So it was a special moment. I was so glad she stopped by and shared it with us. It was really classy of him to do.''
 

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